It was represented in the three Protectorate Parliaments, between 1654 and 1659.
Representation and ElectorateEdit
Ireland was united with England and Scotland under a republican government, after the defeat of the Royalists in the English Civil War and related conflicts, which had affected all three kingdoms.
Provision for thirty Members of Parliament was made by An Ordinance by the Protector for Elections in Ireland of 27 June 1654. Carrickfergus and Belfast was one of the constituencies established by the Ordinance. The place of election was at Belfast.
Belfast was a borough, which had been enfranchised in 1613. According to Samuel Lewis in A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland in Parliament of Ireland elections the voters were the free burgess members of the corporation (the local Council). This group numbered twelve in the 18th century, although many Irish boroughs had larger corporations in earlier times than in the 18th century.
Carrickfergus, one of the oldest Parliamentary boroughs in Ireland, was a county of itself. This was a status similar to the later County Boroughs. The town had been enfranchised in 1326, before County Antrim existed as a sub-division of Ireland and Carrickfergus was included in that geographical county (but not for the purposes of administration). In Irish Parliament elections it was one of the few boroughs with a fairly large electorate. According to Samuel Lewis in A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland it consisted of the mayor, aldermen, burgesses, and freemen of the town as well as the freeholders of land valued at 40 shillings per annum or more.
Boundaries and boundary changesEdit
Both before and after the Commonwealth, Belfast (Parliament of Ireland constituency) and Carrickfergus (Parliament of Ireland constituency) each sent two members to the Parliament of Ireland.
Parliaments in which the constituency was representedEdit
First Protectorate ParliamentEdit
The First Protectorate Parliament was summoned by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell under the terms of the Instrument of Government. It sat for one term from 3 September 1654 until 22 January 1655 with William Lenthall as the Speaker of the House.